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Gingersnap
08-09-2010, 11:58 AM
Stephen Hawking: Abandon the Earth

Updated: Monday, 09 Aug 2010, 10:02 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 09 Aug 2010, 10:01 AM EDT

(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has some advice for the people of Earth - it's time to get off.

"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space," Hawking said to Big Think , a global forum that includes interviews with experts. "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load."

The physicist called humankind's survival "a question of touch and go" and referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963 as one time people narrowly avoided extinction. He also referred to the 22,600 stockpiled nuclear weapons, including 7,770 still operational, scattered around the planet.

If that doesn't drive us off, University of Sussex astrophysicist Dr. Robert Smith said global warming may reach a point "where all of Earth's water will simply evaporate." He said life will disappear on Earth long before the 7.6 billion years some say the aging sun will expand and destroy Earth.

CNet news said that Hawking has concerns about how humans "are eating up finite resources" and has claimed man's genetic code "carries selfish and aggressive instincts" that have helped humanity survive in the past. Hawking suggests that if man can avoid disaster for the next two centuries "our species should be safe as we spread into space."

According to the Daily Mail , Hawking warned earlier this year that humans should be cautious in trying to contact other alien life forms because there is no way to know if they will be friendly.

"If we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy we should make sure we survive and continue," he said.

Vernos Branco, a Las Vegas Sun reader, suggested in a letter to the editor that it may not be that easy to escape. He wrote about how humans have continued to move from one place to another as they settle in an area, use all the resources, pollute the area and move on. He said now that man has technology that can destroy the environment faster, we are running out of space to live in.

"The planet will be fine and heal; it is man who will vanish," he wrote. "... If we develop the technology for space travel, we will do the same to that environment, until we learn not to. Man will become extinct due to his greed."

It may not be that easy anyway to just hop to another planet. University of Michigan astrophysicist Katherine Freese told Big Think that the closest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri. That's 4.2 light years away, which means man could reach the star in 4.2 years - if man could travel at the speed of light.

At this point man travels at about ten thousandth of light speed, which would make that journey about 50,000 years.

I'll start packing.

My Fox (http://www.myfoxnepa.com/dpps/news/stephen-hawking-abandon-the-earth-dpgoha-20100809-fc_9088678)

djones520
08-09-2010, 12:08 PM
University of Sussex astrophysicist Dr. Robert Smith said global warming may reach a point "where all of Earth's water will simply evaporate."

What a fucking liar. That is impossible. The atmosphere cannot hold more then 6% water vapor before it is "saturated" and has to rain. For the earth to be hot enough for all of the water to evaporate and stay in gaceous form, humans would already be long extinct. :rolleyes:

Articulate_Ape
08-09-2010, 12:17 PM
Just where in space will we go? I would submit that air, atmospheric pressure, and temperatures below 1000C and above absolute zero would add to our overall survival prospects. None of that shit has been found in the right combination yet, and even if we do, it would take thousands of years to get to assuming we could maintain a decent cruising speed around that of the speed of light.

So, where are we going?

djones520
08-09-2010, 12:21 PM
Just where in space will we go? I would submit that air, atmospheric pressure, and temperatures below 1000C and above absolute zero would add to our overall survival prospects. None of that shit has been found in the right combination yet, and even if we do, it would take thousands of years to get to assuming we could maintain a decent cruising speed around that of the speed of light.

So, where are we going?

I saw a show about a decade ago saying we already had the techonolog to teraform Mars. It would take something like a thousand years, but it could be done. As time advances we'll be able to get better and better results.

I'd say by the end of the century faster then light travel will be a feasable option. Once we get that down, the next question will be how much will the tickets costs.

Articulate_Ape
08-09-2010, 12:25 PM
I saw a show about a decade ago saying we already had the techonolog to teraform Mars. It would take something like a thousand years, but it could be done. As time advances we'll be able to get better and better results.

I hope you like the idea of living on Hoth.


I'd say by the end of the century faster then light travel will be a feasable option.

Well, we are going to have to get around a little obstacle referred to as E=mc2 first.

djones520
08-09-2010, 12:33 PM
I'm not an astrophysicist, but faster then light travel is used in reference for more then just the literal sense.

The Shaw-Fujikawa engine from the Halo series is a popular fictional representation. It operates on the premise of bending space time into a wave, tearing a hole in its base, and punching through to the otherside of the "wave".

There are many "theories" today that operate on a principle like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

Articulate_Ape
08-09-2010, 12:36 PM
I'm not an astrophysicist, but faster then light travel is used in reference for more then just the literal sense.

The Shaw-Fujikawa engine from the Halo series is a popular fictional representation. It operates on the premise of bending space time into a wave, tearing a hole in its base, and punching through to the otherside of the "wave".

There are many "theories" today that operate on a principle like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

Well, given the constraints of E=mc2, that is pretty much what we would have to pull off (i.e. folding space, wormholes, etc.) . Unfortunately, I think we are a long ways away from that without some extra terrestrial help or some pretty astonishing breakthrough.

djones520
08-09-2010, 12:43 PM
Well, given the constraints of E=mc2, that is pretty much what we would have to pull off (i.e. folding space, wormholes, etc.) . Unfortunately, I think we are a long ways away from that without some extra terrestrial help or some pretty astonishing breakthrough.

*shrugs* Stephen Hawkings offered up another viewpoint of that on the show he recently did for Discovery. In a nutshell he theorised that intelligent civilizations, both human and aliens, come to a point in technological growth were things just explode. He says two things can come of it. They survive it and move onto what we fantasize about with all our sci-fi shows and such, or it leads to their extinction. He believes that we are in that point right now, and I find it hard to disagree with him. When you compair our technological capabilities today to what they were 100 years ago, and even 50 years ago it's amazing. Whats even more amazing is that we've made such huge leaps in such a short time when it took over a hundred thousand years to proceed from banging stones together for fire, to developing things like agriculture, civilization, etc... Then in the span of a hundred years we go from horses being the fastest mode of transportation to feasably being to travel to other planets.

I honestly feel that it really will be by the end of the century that we're capable of leaving the Solar System, and beginning to populate others. We may not be at the point it takes us a week or so to travel that distance. Generational ships might still be necessary, but it will happen.

Articulate_Ape
08-09-2010, 12:48 PM
We're still going to be paying off the debt at the end of this century. Will we be able to afford this Enterprise? :p

djones520
08-09-2010, 12:49 PM
We're still going to be paying off the debt at the end of this century. Will we be able to afford this Enterprise? :p

Once the Vulcans make first contact, humanity will unite in peace and we'll become the perfect socialist utopia. Don't you know anything? :p

FlaGator
08-09-2010, 12:59 PM
I'm not an astrophysicist, but faster then light travel is used in reference for more then just the literal sense.

The Shaw-Fujikawa engine from the Halo series is a popular fictional representation. It operates on the premise of bending space time into a wave, tearing a hole in its base, and punching through to the otherside of the "wave".

There are many "theories" today that operate on a principle like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

In Dune the premise was similar, where space was folded like a piece paper and when a point far away was drawn to your location, you switched to it and then space was allowed to unfold with you at the new location. Technically you didn't actually move so you never broke the limit on exceeding the speed of light. Space itself moved faster than light and it is not under the same speed constraints as objects with it space are.

Gingersnap
08-09-2010, 01:03 PM
Well, I'm not going to pack anymore if we're going to Hoth. :mad:

djones520
08-09-2010, 01:05 PM
Well, I'm not going to pack anymore if we're going to Hoth. :mad:

You got a problem with living inside a tauntaun's belly?

FlaGator
08-09-2010, 01:09 PM
You got a problem with living inside a tauntaun's belly?

Hey according to some atheists we're living on the back of a turtle.

djones520
08-09-2010, 01:10 PM
Hey according to some atheists we're living on the back of a turtle.

Your getting confused there. Those aren't atheists. They're idiots.

Gingersnap
08-09-2010, 01:12 PM
You got a problem with living inside a tauntaun's belly?

I've got a problem living where there are no ski resorts.

djones520
08-09-2010, 01:18 PM
I've got a problem living where there are no ski resorts.

Hey, do we not believe in a capitalist free market society? What is to stop you from creating the premiere ski resort on Hoth?

FlaGator
08-09-2010, 01:23 PM
Your getting confused there. Those aren't atheists. They're idiots.

Oh yeah... sorry for the confusion. When I think of Night Owl I have trouble telling the difference. My bad.

Articulate_Ape
08-09-2010, 02:09 PM
Well, I'm not going to pack anymore if we're going to Hoth. :mad:

http://i531.photobucket.com/albums/dd359/JamesSavant/Hoth.jpg

malloc
08-09-2010, 06:00 PM
I think the title is a bit misleading. Hawking isn't advocating that we "abandon the earth", I've read many of his articles on the subject, and his premise is pretty simple and clear.

The longer the entirety of humanity stays on the same planet, the closer the probability of a cataclysmic event causing species extinction comes to 1. Meaning if we just live here, and don't get started on moving our species off-world, eventually a comet will strike, or the sun will go red giant, etc. There's a companion theory I read and discussed a while ago when we were analyzing martian soil samples for signs of life. Some scientists were hoping that signs of life would not be found, even at the microbiological level. Their reasoning was a bit hard to follow, but it means that if life, at some point in time, were to have existed on Mars, than that means that life is abundant in the universe. If life is abundant in the universe, and we haven't met any space travelers, that means there is some sort of barrier to long distance space travel.

For a species to have evolved to the point where FTL flight, or perceived FTL flight (space warp travel, etc) were possible, than that species must also have very advanced means of mapping space and locating planets likely to contain life. Since Earth is a prime example of one of these planets, one would think we would be a stop on their tour. However, since probability dictates that there should billions of planets capable of sustaining life, and we still haven't seen any extraterrestrial life, than either long range space travel is not possible, i.e. the whole E=MC^2 problem isn't workaroundable, or there is a barrier that drives a species to extinction before it can evolve to the point where long range space travel is possible, i.e. a Nuclear age, using an LHC type device that really does create a black hole, etc.

SarasotaRepub
08-09-2010, 06:54 PM
http://ironic1.com/death_star_brainstorming.me.jpg

Big Guy
08-09-2010, 07:14 PM
I vote we go here. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdVZ1OtrxsU

Articulate_Ape
08-09-2010, 07:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1-Wpq-NOQg

Big Guy
08-09-2010, 07:22 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1-Wpq-NOQg

Guy IS my last name. My first name is BIG. :D

Sonnabend
08-10-2010, 07:54 AM
So, where are we going?Several close stars are G type,meaning planets with oxygen nitrogen atmospheres.

How do we get there? Ion engines and cold sleep.

Fuel? Methane from any of the outer planets.

Resources? On massive asteroids in space, trillions of tones of iron and other metals. Just waiting to be mined.

Gravity? Build the ship in orbit.

Terraform Mars, build a colony and launch from there.

Gingersnap
08-10-2010, 09:36 AM
http://i531.photobucket.com/albums/dd359/JamesSavant/Hoth.jpg

Exactly. :p

Veritas Aequitas
08-20-2010, 03:50 AM
Good luck with leaving Earth when our leaders believe that the future is the windmill.

ironhorsedriver
08-22-2010, 08:56 AM
Several years ago scientist were touting the Solar Sail. Starts slow and, theoretically would build to tremendous speeds. I like the ion engine better, same slow build up, but not as dependent on external forces.
I have read that if an object attains light speed, it will be converted to energy, or photons. I guess your pretty much done at that point. But, I wonder if you use wormholes, or bending space, would tidal forces rip you and your ship apart?
I'm just a Locomotive Engineer with a high school education, but this stuff fascinates me.

DU+NU_Reject
08-22-2010, 11:06 AM
Your getting confused there. Those aren't atheists. They're idiots.

Sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel/series

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y116/iamjooish/Pennywise1.jpg

DU+NU_Reject
08-22-2010, 11:52 AM
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTve7FZLZQD4vSn4nXFbAgXXRbJP5-AWZk8Nc5lKqTl1kBfp0M&t=1&usg=__CV7_ukQbuq-7QDxFqCU9W_GwskI=

As I recall, this guy had to use metabolic stasis (a "sleeper ship") to escape the Eugenics Wars before getting picked up by Kirk, Spock, & co...

Unlike FTL travel, metabolic stasis is a reality in the sense that the body's chemical reactions do slow down almost to a grinding halt when made cold. The problem is, of course, that once temperatures go below freezing, ice crystals puncture and destroy the body's cells. A number of animals (including snakes!) living near the Arctic have a way around that via a chemical their bodies produce before entering hibernation -sometimes right in the middle of snow!

Odysseus
08-25-2010, 10:59 AM
I've got a problem living where there are no ski resorts.
It's Hoth. The entire planet is a ski resort.

I vote we go here. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdVZ1OtrxsU

Seconded. All in favor? And no opposed? The ayes have it.

<sigh> But, at the moment, NASA is focused on making Muslims feel good about themselves, so I guess the survival of humanity as a species will have to take a back seat to explaining the Islamic contributions to rocket science to Afghan goat herders, dissolute Saudi princes, suicidal jihadis and Islamic scholars who argue that all science is blasphemy because it presumes natural laws that are limits on Allah. Bummer. I was looking forward to going to the Planet of the Babes.